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Where the sidewalk ends?

Sturbridge talks over paving at Common

The choice of paving materials will determine final cost and maintenance responsibilities of the sidewalks around the Town Common. Christopher Tanguay. (click for larger version)
July 11, 2010
STURBRIDGE — The Board of Selectmen will resume deliberation this week over an unassuming topic that has turned out to be a tricky question.

What kind of sidewalks will line the Town Common?

Town Administrator Shaun Suhoski informed the board last week of a notice from engineer Linda Terry of the state Department of Transportation regarding the options for sidewalk designs along the Town Common section of Main Street as part of the overall Route 131 improvement project.

According to Terry's letter, the project contract currently calls for a standard, gray concrete sidewalk, which the state would maintain, and has been factored into the existing project budget for $30,162.

Any changes in that sidewalk design, such as decorative accent strips could result in significant changes in cost to the town and may also require Sturbridge's DPW to maintain them, depending the materials used.

On Tuesday, July 6, Selectmen began to weigh the desire to preserve the neighborhood's historic atmosphere against the need to be financially prudent in deciding just what will be under the feet of local pedestrians.

For more on this story, please see Monday's Southbridge Evening News.

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